29 April 2014
OLAF in 2013: higher volume of investigative work, shorter duration of investigations, more results for EU taxpayers
In 2013, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) succeeded in stepping up the fight against fraud across Europe. Citizens and institutions reported more information of potential investigative interest than ever before. OLAF completed a record number of investigations while reducing their overall duration and it issued the highest number of recommendations in five years. OLAF recommended the recovery of €402.8 million to the EU budget, which will help fund other projects and ease the burden on EU taxpayers. These excellent results show that OLAF has become an increasingly efficient office, constantly delivering for European citizens.
“In 2013 we succeeded in modernising OLAF and in making it an increasingly proficient Office in the fight against fraud and corruption in the EU. The reorganisation of 2012 has yielded promising results and has allowed us to step up our investigative efforts, to contribute to key legislative files and to further deepen the cooperation with our operational partners. This has been done with virtually the same resources as in previous years which speaks for the commitment and professionalism of our staff”, said Director-General Giovanni Kessler at the annual press conference presenting the OLAF Report 2013.
Speaking of the outlook for 2014, he added: "OLAF has been strengthened by the entry into force of a new OLAF Regulation and by the adoption of new Guidelines on Investigation Procedures for OLAF staff. We look forward to pursuing our good investigative work and to driving anti-fraud policy further. We will continue to actively support the Commission's plans to establish a European Public Prosecutor's Office. This project is a key part of our vision for a better protection of the EU's financial interests."
Highlights of OLAF results in 2013
OLAF contribution to key anti-fraud policies
In 2013, OLAF assisted the European Commission with the development of anti-fraud policies and legislation. The Office contributed substantial technical input for the Commission’s legislative proposal on the establishment of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) of July. This initiative will help ensure that fraud against the EU budget is consistently prosecuted across Europe and that fraudsters are brought to justice.
As the illicit trade in tobacco products deprives the EU and the Member States budgets of considerable resources each year, OLAF continued to make the fight against this harmful phenomenon a priority throughout the year.
Because complex fraud cases of a cross-border or international dimension are increasingly frequent, in 2013 OLAF has broadened its outreach. The Office entered into a series of cooperation agreements with partners in Europe and beyond. Such partnerships will contribute to a better protection of the EU financial interests, to the benefit of EU taxpayers.